If you have ever considered going into national security, you’re in the right place. Earning a homeland security degree online is a great way to kick start your career in national security with a fast-paced program that doesn’t require you to sacrifice your job. Enrolling in one of the best online programs listed below ensures you a quality education that will benefit your entire career.
What is Homeland Security?
Homeland security is a term often heard when describing the American government. It is national security made to ensure the United States remains safe and resilient against hazards, such as terrorism, that threaten American citizens. There are quite a few jobs within homeland security, ranging from working with the FBI to the NSA to FEMA. Some of the more common jobs we hear of in homeland security include the following:
Secret Service Agent
Secret service agents are tasked with protecting national leaders in any way imaginable. They also use new technology to investigate financial crimes like fraud. These are the people you see portrayed in movies wearing black suits and sneaking around to make sure everything is safe for the president.
On average, secret service agents make around $132,000 per year. This number can easily go up past $150,000 per year with the right combination of training, education, and experience.
Civil Engineer (FEMA)
Civil engineers typically work for FEMA, maintaining infrastructure throughout the nation. This involves building, maintaining, and repairing roads, tunnels, airports, and water supply systems. Civil engineers can choose to either work in an office setting or at construction sites.
To become a civil engineer, you would be required to have an undergraduate degree in civil engineering, though it is recommended that you either double major in homeland security and civil engineering or earn a dual degree. Many civil engineering and homeland security jobs overlap, so having both degrees is a huge bonus.
Information Security Agent (CIA)
Information security agents working for the CIA are responsible for all of the activities involved in securing sensitive data. This means analyzing security structures and network infrastructure and implementing any security measures necessary to keep everything running efficiently.
For entry-level positions, information security agents make around $80,000 per year. However, with the right education and after building up a little bit of work experience, that number climbs to over $110,000 per year.
Cybercrimes Agent (FBI)
Similar to information security agents, cybercrime agents in the FBI are tasked with maintaining the security of networks. Rather than putting the security systems in place though, cybercrime agents investigate crimes like data theft.
Becoming a cybercrime agent may require a degree to have a concentration in cybersecurity. Or, you could double major or dual degree in cybersecurity and homeland security. The average annual pay for this job is $97,000.
Intelligence Analyst (NSA)
Intelligence analysts working for the NSA are responsible for collecting and explaining data to the people who make important decisions about required action or counter-action. This job is very secretive as the data collected by intelligence analysts is highly classified for the safety of US citizens.
Becoming an intelligence analyst involves passing psychological evaluations and tests. After doing so, you can expect to make around $82,000 per year, though this varies based on education and experience.
Any job in homeland security is guaranteed to be challenging and interesting. As you can see, most jobs pay very well, even for entry-level positions. Being tasked with one of these jobs protecting the nation can be extremely rewarding. Earning your degree from one of the top online schools will help you take the first step toward that exciting career.
Best Online Homeland Security Degrees
Earning your degree online offers a lot of benefits: you can continue working while you study, you can easily fast track your degree, your schedule is flexible, and more. Being able to do things your way and at your pace are the biggest reasons you should consider taking the online route. As for finding the right online homeland security degree program, look no further–we have you covered with a list of the top online homeland security programs below.
If you enroll at National University, you can complete an online Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. This program is designed to be flexible and offers a fast-track option. You would be able to complete your degree completely at your own pace. It is also available on-campus if you decide online learning isn’t for you.
The program at National University prepares students to handle security emergencies everywhere. By the time you graduate, you will know how to deal with situations in airports, seaports, and everywhere in between.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Public Service and Public Policy with a concentration in emergency management and homeland security. Enrolling in this program is a good way for students to learn about all aspects of public service and security work. Many employers will be excited about hiring someone with such a well-rounded education.
This program focuses on real-life issues and how to solve them. Preparing students to respond to and manage all types of disasters is the primary goal of Arizona State University’s program. By graduation, students will be prepared to work in numerous fields and move on to higher education with further specializations in mind.
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Pennsylvania State University
If you enroll at Pennsylvania State University, you can earn an online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security. This program requires 33 credit hours to complete and offers a concentration in public health preparedness. Pursuing this degree would be a good decision for you if you want to work with organizations like the CDC.
Penn State’s program is designed to prepare students for work in many fields. The curriculum covers everything from public health and healthcare to emergency management and the military. After graduating, you will be skilled in how to handle any catastrophe or disaster situation.
At Towson University, you can enroll in an online Master of Science in Integrated Homeland Security. This program is designed for working professionals and is heavily research-based. For students who wish to conduct research and use real-life examples for their learning, this program is a great choice.
In Towson’s program, students will take courses to cover all areas of the field, but will focus on their specializations. Prior to graduation, students will be required to complete a research project, which can be done in groups. During this program, students will also earn a certificate in security assessment and management.
George Washington University
George Washington University offers an online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security. This program is also offered on-campus for any students who want to mix online and on-campus courses. For a unique perspective, all of the courses are taught by faculty with first-hand experience in the field.
In this program, students focus on learning about counter-terrorism, emerging security threats, and intelligence analysis. Students will also be given many opportunities to work on their career development while enrolled in the program. This is a great feature that helps students find immediate employment after graduating.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
At Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, students can enroll in an online Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security. This program offers specializations in terrorism studies, cybersecurity, risk assessment, and emergency management, among other things. Depending on your career goals, you can specialize in one of these fields to help tailor your degree.
Students enrolled in this program will be given plenty of opportunities to work with professionals in their specialized field of study. This provides good hands-on experience prior to graduating. The faculty also has a lot of first-hand experience working in the various fields of homeland security, ensuring students have an education based on experience rather than theories.
At Mercer University, you can enroll in an online Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. This is a great option for students who want to work for FEMA because they will have knowledge of how to handle emergency situations as well as how national security works.
This program is regularly updated to include current issues. Doing this allows students to learn based on real-world experiences. Students in this program learn leadership and organizational skills that help them handle all types of emergencies.
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Institute of Technology offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a concentration in homeland security. Enrolling in this program is a great option for students who are interested in working for organizations like the FBI. For those jobs, you will need to know about both criminal justice and homeland security policies and protocols.
This program focuses heavily on the homeland security aspect. Topics covered include terrorism studies and emergency management. By graduation, students will have learned all about victimology, the corrections system, and law enforcement. They will also know how to assess emergency situations like terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
Through Northeastern University, students can enroll in a Master of Art in Homeland Security. This program is offered entirely online but there are options to create a customized, hybrid program. All versions are designed to prepare students for work in both the private and public sectors.
Students of Northeastern’s MA program can expect to work with expert security professionals, providing real-life experience. After completing core courses, students will be able to choose one of four concentrations to tailor their degree to their career goals.
At Herzing University, you can enroll in either a BS in Homeland Security and Public Safety, or a BS in Criminal Justice with a concentration in homeland security and counterterrorism. Both degrees are offered entirely online. These programs are designed to prepare students for work in the private sector, with non-profit organizations, or within the government.
By the end of this program, Herzing University guarantees students will be able to predict and manage a wide variety of national security threats. Courses will cover everything from natural disasters to terrorism, ensuring a well-rounded education.
Columbia Southern University
For a lower-cost option, you could enroll in Columbia Southern University’s online BS in Homeland Security program. Compared to other online programs, this one is much more affordable for students and provides a great education. For this program, students can transfer up to 90 credit hours from previous academic or life experience.
Columbia Southern University uses a style of learning meant to be customized to each student’s individual preferences and needs. This means that everything is on your schedule. You can enroll at any time and all courses are free of due dates and meeting times. It is designed to be completed at your own pace to ensure your learning needs are met.
Earning a degree from any one of the above universities is the best decision you can make. Homeland security is a very prestigious field and having the proper credentials, like a degree from an esteemed college, can make all the difference in finding a job.
If national security is your calling, a degree in homeland security is where you need to start. Earning your degree online will give you the flexibility you need to accomplish things in your own way and on your own time. By enrolling in one of the top schools listed above, you are guaranteed a fantastic education and a degree that gets you ahead in the job hunt.